Let’s take a closer look at the NFL betting odds for this AFC matchup at Paul Brown Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.
On the right track
Indianapolis has recovered nicely after a forgettable performance in Week 1 of its exhibition schedule, as it has won and covered the spread in its last two games, including a 27-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns as two-point home favorites last Saturday.
The Colts were pleased with what they saw from quarterback Andrew Luck, who led the team to 17 points in seven series, as he prepares to start his second professional season against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Aug. 8.
A step backwards
Cincinnati was feeling good about itself after picking up victories over the Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons, but it was reminded quickly how hard it is to win in the NFL last time out.
The Bengals suffered a 24-18 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys as 2.5-point road underdogs, as they were outgained by 121 yards, while finishing with a minus-four turnover margin.
A flat spot in the schedule
NFL handicappers aren’t going to find many flat spots for teams during the exhibition schedule with jobs on the line, but I think the Colts land in one for its final tuneup before the regular season.
Indianapolis has responded to owner Jim Irsay’s criticism after a forgettable effort versus Buffalo in its preseason opener, but the locker room may lack the proper motivation to get up for this game with a likely win over the Silver & Black on deck.
Lewis isn’t pleased
The Bengals own a 13-8 series lead over the Colts when meeting up in preseason play, including a 6-4 mark as the home team.
Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis was extremely disappointed with his team’s effort last time out—specifically the team’s inability to convert on third downs offensively and a number of costly penalties.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Bengals with their NFL picks, as they’ve gone 7-2 SUATS at home directly off a loss during exhibition play under Lewis’ direction.
NFL Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -3